President Obama has backed down from a fight over requiring all employers to provide birth control for women free of charge. Obama announced a compromise Friday at the White House, saying that under his health-care plan, religiously affiliated employers will not have to pay for contraception. Churches and houses of worship were already exempt from this provision, but Roman Catholic groups and Republican leaders had accused Obama of violating religious freedom. Women will still be able to receive coverage free of charge, but schools, charities, universities, and hospitals will now be exempt, as people can go to insurance companies directly. Timothy Dolan, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the compromise a "first step in the right direction" in revising "how individuals obtain services that are morally objectionable."
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